Refusal to sign divorce to maintain healthcare

My wife and I have been married 10 years. I have been advised by her attorney I need to pay her 350 month for 5 years. I made 63k and 11k more from retired military pay, and 5k for VA Disability pay. She is a registered nurse and made 47k, but had shoulder surgery and was out of work the last 2 months and received short term disability. She made 60k in 2015 and 34k in 2016 due to surgeries as well. She stated she can’t physically work full time at her new job (at a call center as an RN making about 27.50 an hour). She has made it known in the past she wanted to be a stay at home mom (to a 19 year old, {my stepdaughter}). Not noted by any doctors this is a requirement by her that she can not work full time. I am curious if this amount is legitimate and as well she further stated she will not sign the divorce papers in a year and a day because as long as we are married, she is eligible to receive my retired military health insurance benefits. She is moving to Indiana as well.

Based on the information you provided, $350/mo. for 5 years is reasonable for alimony payments, if not lower than would be expected. However, there are many factors that go into alimony amounts that are not accounted for here. Keep in mind that the purpose of alimony is for the dependent spouse to be able to maintain the standard of living that he/she grew accustomed to during the marriage.

Check out our detailed article on alimony for more information: Will You Owe Your Spouse Alimony After a Divorce?

Your wife will not have to sign for an absolute divorce. You will still be able to get divorced as long as you meet the 4 requirements:
(1) You (the person filing) have been a resident of the State of NC for the past 6 months;
(2) You have a valid marriage,
(3) You have been living continuously separate and apart for at least 1 year; and
(4) You separated with the intent to remain permanently separate and apart.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.